Obama likely takes little umbrage from criticisms that he is distant—Vulcan-like—in his mannerisms and leadership.
The man who declared I Am Not Spock in a controversial 1975 autobiography reportedly “caught a lot of heat” for the assertion and would later pen a follow-up (I Am Spock) to address misconceptions that he was rejecting the character. That character was so beloved that fans would not accept Spock’s death in 1982’s Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, and his famous death scene prompted many letters of protest to Paramount Pictures. Nimoy and the film’s production crew received actual death threats over the storyline. It seemed as if Nimoy would never escape Spock’s shadow.
“My folks came to the U.S. as immigrants, aliens, and became citizens,” he told students in a 2012 commencement speech at Boston University. “I was born in Boston, a citizen, went to Hollywood and became an alien.”
Going Boldly Beyond the Myth
Nimoy’s life and his artistic contributions, of course, went far beyond his struggle to differentiate himself from his iconic character. His fans wanted him to remain Spock forever—he’d wryly comply—but his sense of humor extended beyond the persona he occasionally lampooned.
In 1987, Nimoy directed a zany comedy titled Three Men and a Baby, starring Tom Selleck, Steve Guttenberg and Ted Danson, who was in the middle of his run on television’s Cheers. The film was sandwiched between a number of Star Trek outings which Nimoy also directed. Three Men and a Baby went on to become the highest-grossing film of 1987, in an film era dominated by jedis, space aliens, coming-of-age teen comedies and hockey-masked serial killers.
The success of Three Men and a Baby was enough to establish the man on the other side of the camera lens on his own terms. The film was not a counter to
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